While we have only just had iOS 14.5 to download to the iPhone, we’re just over a month away from finding out what will be in the next major release for the iPhone. While we won’t see the final version of iOS 15 until the iPhone 13 launch (expected to be in September 2021), we should have details of the new operating system in June.
Apple’s WWDC 2021 event is scheduled for June 7 this year and it’s all but guaranteed that it will see the announcement of what features we will see in iOS 15. While we are yet to have any solid info to date, there are lots of rumors circulating, as well as plenty of wish lists from journalists and users alike.
So, to get you in the mood for WWDC, I’ve rounded up what I expect to see in iOS 15, as well as some bits that I’d love to see in there.
New notification preferences will be available depending on what you are doing. According to Bloomberg, a new menu will allow you to set if you are driving, working, sleeping or in one of the custom categories. Presumably, connecting to CarPlay or charging the phone will automatically change this mode too.
iMessage is due a major upgrade, introducing more WhatsApp-type features to the tool. We expect a more social network experience, with improved group messaging and hopefully the ability to record voice notes without holding down the button. A recent report from 9to5 Google that Apple considered allowing on to Android platforms shows that there are bigger plans for the service. Cross-platform support would be unusual for Apple but it could be the boost iMessage needs to really take on WhatsApp.
Home screen widgets were a big part of iOS 14 and I expect they will see further development in iOS 15. MacWorld notes that while it’s possible to have the widgets on a the home page – or with a right swipe from the lock screen – they don’t appear on the lock screen itself. This is something that has been possible on Android devices for a long time – and was one of the nice things about Windows phones – but it would be a first for Apple.
While iOS 14 finally allowed you to choose a default browser and mail client other than Safari and Mail, I expect that iOS 15 will go further. This according to Phone Arena, could include your default music provider in place of Apple Music. Whether this will also allow you to default to Google Maps for directions is yet to be seen – but perhaps less likely.
With such a focus on app tracking transparency, it’s likely that there will be some improvements to Apple’s privacy settings on iOS 15. While you can already make universal changes to app tracking in the privacy menu, some form of security overview could be on the cards.
My wish list
Apple’s Weather app hasn’t yet benefited from its purchase of Dark Sky back in 2020. It would be nice to see some of its hyper-local forecasting brought into the main weather app. Also, the calendar app doesn’t seem to have progressed many years and feels in need of some clever upgrade to actually make it useable.
Finally, in a world where Zoom and Google Meet dominate our days, FaceTime feels like it is being left behind. Adding more Zoom-like features could elevate its use to more than just casual chat.